An interesting article appeared today on SpaceRef.com entitled “More ‘Star Trek’ than ‘Snuggie’: Student Design to Protect Lunar Outpost from Dangerous Radiation“. It seems that “…a group of students at North Carolina State University has developed a “blanket” of sorts that covers lunar outposts – the astronauts ‘ living quarters – to provide astronauts protection against radiation while also generating and storing power.”
Something like this ‘blanket’, if truly feasible, could work for a Space Elevator too:
“The “lunar texshield” is made from a lightweight polymer material that has a layer of radiation shielding that deflects or absorbs the radiation so astronauts are only exposed to a safe amount. The outermost surface of the shield includes a layer of solar cells to generate electricity, backed up by layers of radiation-absorbing materials. The advantages of the materials used in the design include flexibility, large surface area, ease of transportation, ease of construction and the ability to have multiple layers of independent functional fabrics.”
The students present their findings at the 2009 RASC-AL forum in Cocoa Beach.
(Picture of Linus from here)